Hidden in plain sight

Seek and ye shall find!

Amsterdam is filled with beautiful places tucked behind well known landmarks and off the beaten track. Some secret and some not so secret, but all worthy of a visit.

Our Amsterdam Ambassadors did the leg work and found some for you to explore.

 Make your trip unique and add these hidden gems to your list.

The secret of the Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum is world renowned and exhibits some of the world’s most important paintings – think Nachtwacht . There is another treasure not so hidden, however many do not end up seeing – The Cuypers library.

This library is the largest and oldest art historical library in the Netherlands and used by art students and many art historians.

Wander around the hallways and up the staircases and you feel like you are actually in a Harry Potter movie. There are many hidden details to discover or you can just pick up a book and learn about art and history. Or just get your camera out and take pictures.

The library is open for everyone who wants to visit and see some of Amsterdam’s finest history.

Cuypers Library within the Rijksmuseum 

Keeping Amsterdam afloat

Situated at the back of Waterlooplein is this small almost ancient lock house dating back to 1695. The lockhouse was build to protect the city from enemy ships and also to regulate the water inflow through the canals. Even today, the Sluyswacht takes care of fresh water in the canals. Luckily, these days the warring times are over and it has been turned into a beautiful and quaint café.

The terrace is located in the sun with a beautiful view over the canal and Rembrandthuis. The neighborhood has a lot of history that will take you back in time while wandering around.

So this is the perfect spot to relax, meet and greet and sample their bitterballen platters and local beer.

Café de Sluyswacht

Dinner on an uninhabited island  

Unless you are a professional swimmer training to do the 12 miles, this gem is not something you are going to stumble upon.

Vuurtoreneiland is basically an uninhabited island at the Markermeer. This stunning lighthouse island plays host to winter dinner evenings in the former bunker. After winter it transforms into outdoor dinner evenings in the summer house above.

On open evenings, there is a special boat picking you up from the east side of Amsterdam. During the ride small dishes and cider will be served as you make your way to the island. Once you arrive you are taken on an expedition around the island and then will be seated at your table. You will be served regional products prepared with artisanal techniques.

All in all this is a great sustainable dinner experience where you can enjoy nature by people who take care of nature.


Take a seat on the Amstelveld 

Tucked away behind the busy shopping street of Utrechtsestraat is this quiet hideaway. It has trees lining the square and it’s very own local flower market on Mondays. The market on this sqaure has a long history. Not only can you buy flowers here, but also exotic and colorful birds.

The statue at the Amstelveld represents Kokadorus, this was the nickname for a famous salesman. He was a smooth talker and started selling lucifers’ when he was ten years old. King Willem III invited Kokadorus to the palace to speak, but in the company of so many fancy guests he lost his tongue.

After walking around and reliving all the history, there is a perfect café to relax and watch the boats pass on to the Prinsengracht. Café Nel has a perfect located terrace where you can enjoy a drink in the sun and watch a game of petanque. Feeling competitive or just simply want to join the game? No problem, everyone is more than welcome to play on the petanque court.  


Before the show

In Amsterdam East at the Indische buurt you will find the NedPhO-Koepel. The building offers something very unique, it is home to the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra|Netherlands Chamber Orchestra.

Marc Albrecht, chief conductor and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra rehearses here. And they are happy to share their love for music and creativity with the world. Visitors are more than welcome to come and enjoy the music while the orchestra is perfecting their craft.

This is your chance to watch the recently crowned best conductor in the world – at the prestigious 2019 International Opera Awards – in action. So catch a sneak peek free of charge.


A home for all

Huize Frankendael has everything and more. This lovely gem is a place for creativity, music, culture and art. This old country house tells a story through its art, you will spot many details as you make your way through. The garden was a very beloved place during the Golden Century. Back then this was the hotspot for the wealthy citizens of Amsterdam.

In 1957 Ben Merkelbach – a famous Dutch architect – was invited by the city council to move into Huize Frankendael. Ben was integral to the urban development of Amsterdam. While living at Huize Frankendael Ben restored much of this depleted building. After his dead his artistic daughter continued living there till 2003 and you can still find the mosaic she created.

Relax on the sunny terrace in the beautiful green garden or find yourself at a workshop or exhibition. Every day has something else to offer. Throughout the year you can visit many exhibitions and admire the architecture.

Huize Frankendael

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